In the second preseason game of the year, the Boston Celtics went on the road to take on the Orlando Magic. The Celtics improve to 2-0 this preseason after defeating the Magic 100-75.
The Boston Celtics truly dominated in this game. Regardless of it being preseason or not, the Celtics never seemed to take their foot off of the gas pedal. They held the Magic to 31.3 field goal percentage. Leading by 35 points at one point during the first half, the C’s finished the first quarter up 35-11. Boston also had 13 steals, and three blocks in the game.
Marcus Smart opened up the game by catching fire from deep and hitting his first three shots of the game. He finished the game with 14 points, four assists, and two rebounds, while connecting on 4/6 (66.7%) of his three-point shot attempts. “The Young Game Changer” was able to control the floor in the absence of Kemba Walker.
In the off-season, Jayson Tatum said he wanted to have a better shot selection and get to the line more. So far in the preseason he is staying true to his word. Tatum finished the game with a team high 15 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Tatum did go 1/2 from the free throw line. Becoming a better free throw shooter will help Tatum get to where he wants to be as a well-rounded NBA player. He looks ready to be one of the primary leaders of this team.
A big concern going into this season was if Gordon Hayward could return to All-Star form. Even though it’s just the preseason, Hayward is showing much more burst than he ever did last season. Last season, I noticed Hayward did a lot of hopping in the paint before getting his shot off. This season, he is running straight through the paint and right to the basket with no hesitation. He finished the game going 3/10 from the field with nine points, four rebounds, three assists, and a steal.
Jaylen Brown was all over the floor last night. He finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block. It is noted that all of Brown’s rebounds came from the defensive end. He also took one three-point shot and missed. If you watched the game, you could see the dominant presence that Brown brought to the floor. He did a lot of working driving to the hoop last night, and visited the free throw line twice; going 1/2.
Rookie Grant Williams played another great game for the Celtics. Williams played 17 minutes and contributed to 10 points, and two rebounds. Part of Williams game that got some negativity was his lack of production from behind the arc. Williams worked hard this summer to become a better three-point shooter, and its slowly but surely paying off. He went 50% from three-point range last night.
Romeo Langford, the Celtics first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, finally making his NBA debut. Langford was injured when the Celtics drafted him and is finally ready to take on live action. Last night against the Magic, Langford got his first taste of the NBA. Only playing 11 minutes, Langford finished with two points and three rebounds. After the game, the Boston Celtics rookie said “it felt good to be out there.”
Enes Kanter had a tough time to get things going for himself. He finished the game with just two points, eight rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes of play. Kanter looked extremely slow getting back to the defensive end of the floor. The Boston Celtics brought him here to play aggressively in the paint and score easy points while underneath the basket. He finds the ball like a dog playing fetch, but he will need to provide more to the team on the offensive end than he has shown this preseason. That includes a better conversion rate from the field.
Last but not least, Tacko Fall. Tacko Fall has easily become one of the most popular and loved players throughout the entire NBA and all of the fan bases. Fall did play college basketball at UCF, so the love he was receiving from the Orlando crowd was likely an ode to his days as a Knight. With that being said, Fall didn’t have the best outing for the Boston Celtics last night. Only playing six minutes, Fall finished with no points and two rebounds. During the first preseason game against the Hornets, Fall was what we all have been expecting; but in last night’s game, Fall looked a little lost.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Boston Celtics do with Tacko Fall, as I think most of the NBA is also waiting to see what they do with the big man. I do think that Tacko has shown the Celtics enough in order for them to make their decision.
The Boston Celtics continue the preseason tomorrow at 3 P.M. at the TD Garden as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.